This report reaffirms that maize continues to be a significant contributor to the economic and social development of Ethiopia. As the crop with the largest smallholder coverage at 8 million holders (compared to 5.8 million for teff and 4.2 million for wheat), maize is critical to smallholder livelihoods in Ethiopia. In addition, maize is the staple crop with the greatest production at 4.2 million tons in 2007/08, compared to teff at 3.0 million tons and sorghum at 2.7 million tons.
Moreover, maize plays a central role in Ethiopia’s food security. It is the lowest cost source of cereal calories, providing 1½ times and two times the calories per dollar compared to wheat and teff respectively. An effective maize sector could propel Ethiopia’s food production to quickly reduce the national food deficit and keep pace with a growing population.